Robert had kept the family informed and was expecting some form of communication from the outside world. His influence stretched very deeply, even into the very corridors of government. However, the De-Cabroni family had the advantage of ancestral time on their side. Over some two hundred years the De-cabroni’s had slowly been infiltrating their power base ever deeper into the very infrastructure of the Western world.
Their power base loomed like Mount Everest over the humble Mendip hills of Somerset in England. Time had also taught this astute family to be discrete, not flaunting or abusing their power and influence. Mrs Undraus De-Cabroni had given instructions that this was to be a time of intelligence gathering only.
She had not wanted to show her hand and tip off the wrong people, that they were themselves under surveillance; she had learnt her skills from her father. He had taught her and her two brothers well, and that the enemy or opposition should never be underestimated, and that it was always to the families’ advantage to know the opposition’s strength as well as their weaknesses.
It would then only to be a matter of time before various authorities would start enquiring as to why surveillance equipment was used in that very building; along with numerous other ploys to try and prize out exactly who was behind the abduction of Thomas.
Gemma quietly opened the door to Thomas’s room, “Shish, don’t say a word.”
“I have knocked out the guard to your room, quickly come with me, we have to find some way of escaping.”
Undraus De-Cabroni had instructed Gemma exactly when to enter the room, she knew within a further seven minutes the drugs that had been keeping Thomas sedated would start to wear thin within his system and allowing him to regain control.
Unless replenished within a further fifteen minutes Thomas would then be no longer under their influence and would have the full power and abilities returned to him that he had been born with.
Mrs Undraus De-Cabroni was also no fool, she had Gemma hypnotically programmed to block out any memory of who was behind the abductions, giving the family further time in gaining the vital intelligence that it needed.
It was to be a further three days before Thomas had successfully made his way back to the ranch and the safety of the confines of the family.
Gemma had been welcomed but treated with suspicion and apprehension; they had themselves heard of the news reports and were aware that the authorities were looking for her.
Yet such was the communal fear of the Portland Institute from within Robert’s family that they could not but help empathise with her in some small way. That is exactly what Mrs De-Cabroni had hoped for; it was an unknown variable and one that could have gone against Gemma, if so, it would have most certainly of meant her death.
Yet she had prayed that her hunch was correct and that had the child as she called Gemma, had been killed; then the risk would have been worth it. Such was the importance that she placed on reaching this family, that even the very life of those she had grown to love was not as important as possibly saving the very lives of the human race.
“I’m not sure we can trust this woman.” Said Juliet.
Juliet was agitated; they had known that one day it was very probable that the family would have had to face this situation. In many ways she had even tried planning for it from within her mind, yet deeply within her sub-conscious she knew that no amount of mental preparation would prevent the inevitable, and only give her some small advantage of appearing to be in some form of control. When really, like the many other members of her family, she was really in near blind panic.
Robert and Juliet had worked so hard to build a future for themselves, and wanting no more than to survive, the very basic animal instinct that is programmed into all living creatures. Now her worst nightmare was slowly manifesting itself into an unpleasant reality.
“Darn it Robert what if it’s some kind of a trap?”
Roberts’s huge frame towered over Gemma, yet he sensed no real fear from within her. His heightened senses would have smelt fear had it been present, that is one of the many advantages that the animal kingdom has over the human race.
In some ways it was only the intellect that had given the human race an evolutionary advantage. Peter had unknowingly signed the human race to imminent extinction the moment he had started playing at been God. Now the creature that stood before Gemma was superior in every way, not only in having genetically heightened intellect, along with added strength, but also the gifted genetic senses of an animal. His very presence demanded respect and in seeing him in a heightened state of agitation, it also brought on fear for any normal human.
Yet for some reason he could sense Gemma was unaffected by his presence and even though considerably smaller, was prepared to fight for her right to be a member of his family.
What he was not aware of was the genetic modifications that Mrs Undraus De-Cabroni had made on Gemma to make both her and Thomas attracted to each other. Such was the strength of this bonding that both Thomas and Gemma were prepared to die if needed in defending each other.
“I don’t know why, but I can’t explain it…”
Gemma was herself becoming frustrated, she had wanted to deliver Mrs De-Cabroni’s message, but the hypnotic conditioning combined with her natural rage and strength in fighting against oppressors had made a mental programming conflict. One that was now making it difficult for her to put it into words without revealing who it was that was behind the apparent attack on this family.
“Look, I don’t care if you bloody well believe me or not, I’m simply telling you for some reason I think these people genuinely want to help you. But at some kind of price, and that I am not sure if you should pay.”
Juliet looked across to Robert, unknown to Gemma they were talking telepathically.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you” demanded Gemma.
“You may be taller and even stronger than me, but that does not give you the right to treat me like a piece of dirt.”
Robert smiled at her tenacity and strength of character.
“Thomas has found himself a spirited one here.”
He thought quietly to himself.
“Gad we could use such a person to enhance our blood line” thought Juliet.
Both Robert and Juliet smiled quietly to themselves on realising what each other were thinking.
“Listen, please listen to me, I don’t know why, but I know these people are very powerful and fear the Portland Institute far more than they fear you. Yet they are intelligent enough to realise the only way of ever reaching into that vast empire is by joining forces and resources with you and your family.”
It was those words, which made Robert think carefully at what she was saying. It was very evident that from within his own intelligence gathering he had still not managed to discover who was behind this intrusion into his families’ territory. As such to have avoided detection even this far meant their power far exceeded that of his. Robert was himself no fool, and he realised that with such power these people could have eliminated him, and his family had they so desired.
Therefore, if he was to survive and keep his family together then he knew he had no choice other than to co-operate. Within seconds the entire extended family were aware of his thoughts and had been informed of his decision to look further into working with these people, but always with care and caution.
His acceptance brought on an unconscious mental response that had been programmed into Gemma, prompting her to remember further information. Within a few hours a private jet had picked up both Robert and Juliet and had taken them to an undisclosed destination hidden deeply within the confines of the Rocky Mountains.
“What in heaven’s name is this place?”
Asked Robert, as he was being led through numerous subterranean corridors.
“All in good time sir, I’m sure everything will be explained to you once you have spoken to those that are waiting for you.”
“Will they be there in person or will it be some sort of video link?”
Robert was trying to prize even the smallest amount of information from the armed escort that was leading him and Juliet.
“I’m sorry sir; it’s not my place to give out such information.”
As they entered a heavily fortified room, the escort asked them to be seated and to await further instructions. Both Robert and Juliet had realised that from the moment that they had entered the vehicles that had taken them to the private jet, right up to sitting within this room; that they had been unable to telepathically talk to other family members.
Even on two occasions when Robert had walked more than a few yards ahead of Juliet, he noticed immediately that his mental link with her had been severed and was only re-established when they were within a few feet of each other.
Mrs De-Cabroni knew better than to introduce herself in person, nor to be physically present within the room. However, she was fully aware of every word spoken or actions taken, her represented staff, were bio-genetically linked to a much-advanced version of Seth, the genetic computer.
As it was, it was one of her many companies, which had secured the military, contract in further developing this technology. The equipment made available to the commercial sector, along with the various Intelligence and law enforcement agencies; was some ten years behind in their research.
As a result, Mrs Undraus De-Cabroni’s Artificial Intelligence power base was as far as she was aware, vastly superior to anything else currently been used in the Western World?
“Thank you for trusting your intellect and for coming here.”
Robert looked across to another section of the room; and there on one of the walls a video link had been established.
“Before you asked me any further questions, two of our representatives will be entering the room; they are unarmed and have full authority to talk on our behalf. I would make it clear from the start that we will be present within the room not physically but in every other possible way.”
Even Robert understood the precaution that these people were taking.
“Your physical strength is far superior to that of any person within this establishment, but that alone would not keep you alive…if you took it upon yourself to harm these representatives.”
There were a few seconds pause.
“Do I make myself clear?”
Answered Robert, at that the doors opened and in walked Andrew Undraus De-Cabroni and his son, grandchild to Mrs De-Cabroni.
Robert suddenly became aware that there was something different about the two men that had walked into the room.
“Allow me to explain,” interrupted Andrew, having sensed their apprehension. “We are both bio-genetically-altered humans, in some ways very much like you. I admit we do not have your superior strength and are limited in only telepathically communicating with those that are themselves similarly adapted. However, we are directly connected to a genetic computer that I’m sure you will be familiar with, named Seth.”
Robert been in banking and having family in the law enforcement agencies, knew all too well of Seth’s power. That was not really a lie, as the computer system had retained its original name to that of the one Robert and his fellow law enforcement officers used. Even that system would have greatly enhanced any human’s mental abilities, and both Robert and Juliet were acutely aware of this.
“You see Robert, I may call you Robert, and you are not uncomfortable with that, are you?”
Juliet was becoming impatient.
“Enough please with these trivial formalities, lets simply talk about whatever it is that you want from us and as to how we can avoid ourselves from been eliminated.”
Andrew looked up towards a blank wall, and then diverted his gaze back towards both Juliet and Robert.
“If you wish, were sorry if we offended you.”